Last week saw the inaugural 'Rookie Camp' for new Academy players from all four provinces hosted by the IRFU and Rugby Players Ireland.
Last week saw the inaugural ‘Rookie Camp’ for new Academy players from all four provinces hosted by the IRFU and Rugby Players Ireland.
Led by former Ireland prop Marcus Horan, a Player Development Manager with Rugby Players Ireland, the two-day camp introduced players to various aspects of a career in the game.
Off-field development was a recurring theme throughout with modules on financial planning, media engagement, behavioural attitudes and leadership all featuring.
“We look for guys who are competitive but collaborative.”
— RugbyPlayersIreland (@RugbyPlayersIRE) July 26, 2018
The session also provided players with an opportunity to hear what it takes to be a professional rugby player in Ireland, with national head coach Joe Schmidt and former captain Jamie Heaslip in attendance to share their own respective experiences of the game.
IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee said: “The IRFU are delighted to support this initiative. This programme provides a unique opportunity by bringing together players and provincial Academy managers from the four provinces, offering critical education and information on holistic development and player responsibility.
“It also offers great stimulus to the players, which provides greater self-awareness and therefore highlighting future individual development plans. Together with Rugby Players Ireland, we will continue to support all Academy players with their individual off field development plans throughout their Academy cycle.”
Marcus Horan explained the purpose of the camp, noting: “In my own experience, I have learned that the education of players is crucial if they are to survive in what is a unique professional environment.
“Through this programme we have been able to highlight some of the issues that they are likely to face in the coming weeks and months. We have also been able to put the first building blocks in place to equip them with the skills required for the future, whether that lies in the sport or not.”